The first meeting of the Legislative Council Study Committee on Publication of Government Documents and Legal Notices, chaired by state Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield), is scheduled for July 26. WASB is one of the groups invited to testify. We will be asking for relief from newspaper publishing requirements for certain school district documents and notices based on a resolution adopted by the WASB Delegate Assembly in January:
Resolution 1.60 Elimination/Reduction of Newspaper Notice/Publishing Requirements
The WASB supports legislation allowing school districts to publish statutorily-required notices electronically on the school district website and other social media maintained by the school district in lieu of publishing these notices in newspapers.
This Study Committee is directed to update and re-codify state law relating to the publication and distribution of government documents and legal notices, to reflect technological advances and remove obsolete provisions. The committee shall also study whether, and in what circumstances, current law regarding the publication and distribution of government documents and legal notices, including qualifications for official newspapers, should be modified to allow for information to be made available only electronically or through nontraditional media outlets, and the committee shall recommend legislation regarding any such modifications.
There are no school officials serving on the committee which is primarily comprised of legislators, local government officials, and newspaper publishers. View the membership.
We are hopeful that the legislation recommended by this committee will ultimately include provisions allowing for school districts to post certain notices and/or documents on their website as opposed to paying to publish them in a newspaper. We recognize that school boards and local governments need to be transparent and that the public is entitled to certain information, but we also understand that our members believe schools should be able to provide this information in a manner that is cost-effective and in a medium that best serves the local community.